Sometimes if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. That was the mentality that this suburban dad had when he decided to redo his dining room. It was rather bland and he wanted to spice things up a bit.
This task looks rather daunting at first, but if this guy managed to complete it with his own two hands, we all can tackle those simple DIY projects around our homes.
How It Looked Before
This is what the dining room looked like before any changes were made. It's a perfectly fine space, it's just a little boring. The dining table was a hand-me-down from family members and the whole space was starting to feel a little crowded for this man's growing family.
The man decided that he needed to do something petty drastic. He didn't just want to go to the store and buy a new table. He wanted to make something totally custom-built.
A Lot More Room
First, this dad got rid of the old dining room table. Immediately, the space felt a lot roomier. Even so, this guy wasn't sure that he had enough room to fit his big family around one table. He decided to make some changes to the room itself.
He had to find a way to adjust this space and add more seating while making the room feel open and stylish. It wasn't going to be an easy task.
A Built-In Situation
He removed the quarter round at the floor and then started getting to work. After a quick trip to the hardware store, he returned with some freshly cut planks of wood. He measured a beam the length of the longest wall, then attached it about a foot-and-a-half above the floor.
It looked a little bit uneven at first, but then this dad realized that the floor itself was uneven because he lived in an older house.
Adding Even More Planks
After Dad attached the beam, he started attaching smaller planks of wood to the beam. Except for the two in the middle, the planks were spaced about 20 inches apart on the beam.
Looking at these photos, we're not exactly sure what the end result of this project is going to be. We thought that this guy wanted to make the room more spacious. How is adding wood to the wall going to achieve that? We'll have to keep reading to find out.
Some Extra Support
This dad then decided to connect those horizontal planks of wood to the floor for some extra support. Now we kind of see where he's going with this idea. It kind of looks like he's building some sort of bench.
With the vertical support added, whatever Dad was building was less likely to cave in on itself if something were to be placed on top of it (such as a human butt, perhaps). We can't wait to see how this turns out.
Adding The "Ribs"
We were only expecting one built-in bench, but it looks like Dad is expanding the bench underneath the kitchen island. Due to the lack of studs on the wall of the counter, he couldn't attach a beam to it as he did for the first wall. Instead, he created square-shaped supports that he referred to as "ribs" and fastened them to the wall.
This looks like it's shaping up to be a really great eating nook.
Some Good Progress
Dad added another section of supports along the third wall. The third wall is more of a window, so Dad had to make sure that each of those supports was firmly attached to the floor. He attached the ribs on that side to the baseboard.
One detail that concerned him at this point was the A/C vent on the back wall but indeed, he had a plan to keep the air flowing out of it. He just worked around it.
Adding The Bench Part
Now, this structure is really starting to look like a bench. Those top wooden boards make all the difference. Next, Dad measured and cut half-inch plywood boards to lay across the top of the supports. This looks like a really cool booth seat.
He considered using hinges to attach the plywood to the supports so that they could open up to reveal secret storage space. He decided against that idea because his family didn't really need the extra storage space.
Bring In The Cushions
You don't want to park your butt on hard plywood when you're sitting down to a nice meal. That's why Dad brought in these soft cushions to put on top of the beaches. He cut and measured seat foam pads that were two-inches thick and laid them on top of the plywood.
Surprisingly, the foam was the most expensive part of this whole project. He used really high-quality foam that ended up costing him more than $25 per yard.
Upholstering The Foam
Foam itself isn't so attractive or durable so Dad needed to upholster those seats. He picked a stylish, durable, and water-resistant fabric that would hold up after years of family dinners. An outdoor fabric seemed like the best choice.
This guy and his family picked out a dark grey fabric that already matched the colors they had in their kitchen. Even Grandma got in on the action by helping Dad secure the fabric. This project really was a team effort.
Adhering The Fabric
To upholster the booth seats, Dad laid the foam pads on top of the fabric, then the plywood boards on top of the foam. This way, they could stretch the fabric around the entire seat to ensure that the surface of the seat would appear smooth and seamless.
Once the fabric was wrapped around the board, they stapled it down to secure it. Dad thought they used more staples than necessary but better safe than sorry!
Once he laid the covered booth cushions on top of the supports, the entire project appeared to be coming along nicely. Next, he added some wood panels called beadboard to the sides of the supports for the facing of the booth.
In the world of home improvement, beadboard is usually a row of narrow planks lined up vertically on the wall. What makes them distinct is an indentation or ridge in between each plank.
Filling The Gaps
One of the biggest challenges of the project was getting the booth to fit snugly around the windowed wall. Dad had to cut some of the beadboard to fit underneath the baseboard in order to fill in any awkward gaps.
He also added the beadboard to the back of this section of the booth since you could see the other side of it through the window. The seat cushion also overlapped a bit off the back edge, which they didn't have a problem with.
What To Do About The A/C Vent
Don't think that Dad forgot about the A/C vent! Before he added the beadboard paneling to the back wall, he made sure to cut out a hole that matched the size of the vent on the wall.
Admittedly, it wasn't the cleanest cut he could've achieved but it didn't matter so much since he was going to add a new vent cover on top of it. This way, the air could still flow from the original vent in the wall.
A Professional Looking Job
Once Dad affixed a brand-new white vent cover to the hole, it looked as if a professional had installed it! To ensure the air would flow through the new vent, he used pipes and duct tape to connect the original wall vent with the one he fashioned himself.
They may have been transforming the entire dining area but they didn't do so without keeping the room's full functionality intact.
All Coming Together
When taking a step back from the work in progress, it was already obvious that the booth was a more efficient use of the space than the clunky table they used to have. Next, Dad began adding the finishing touches by installing trim at the top and bottom of the beadboard.
This was one of his favorite parts of the project because he got to use an electric nailer, which sounds like fun!
All About The Details
The trim also supported the edges of the seat cushions to make them more secure. Upon closer inspection of the trim, Dad noticed a few gaps and mistakes. However, the quick and easy fix for this was to just caulk it up and fill it in.
The booth at this point was completely built but there was still some major finishing touches to be made. After all, the raw wood didn't match the rest of the room.
Time To Paint
After the caulking was finished up, Dad painted the whole thing a nice, bright white. This really made the room come together since the original details of the home were also white. The fresh paint took its time to dry since two coats were needed to make everything look just right.
The family admired Dad's hard work as a fan helped the drying process. The booth was nearly complete but that wasn't the only thing Dad built.
He Even Built A Table
In addition to building the booth, Dad also built a complementary farmhouse-style table to go with it! The tabletop was a rustic wood that added a chic and homey feel to the space. The supports of the table were also painted white.
The custom table fit perfectly in the booth and was definitely a huge upgrade compared to their previous dining table. The project was essentially complete but not without the finishing touches.
The Perfect Space
Now that the booth and table were built, all they needed was the perfect décor to tie the room together. This was achieved by adding color-coordinated pillows all along the booth, which certainly made it look inviting and cozy!
With some matching placemats added to the table, the entire project was complete. This simple DIY project rejuvenated the family's entire dining area, making it the perfect spot for entertaining and serving the whole family all thanks to Dad's incredible work!
A Man With A Plan
What better way to spend a hot summer day than lounging out in the backyard by the pool?One man couldn't think of anything better for his family. The only problem was that his above-ground pool didn't have a deck.
That meant he wouldn't be able to see his young son swimming unless he was standing up. That was going to get real old real fast during the summer. So, he decided to take matters into his own hands.
The DIY deck started with the man drilling huge holes into the ground near the pool. His neighbors were a bit confused about his process, especially when he began to finish the holes with his bare hands.
No one could blame the neighbors for being concerned. The guy never explained his project, and all of a sudden, one morning, he is turning his garden into Swiss cheese. Hopefully, there was a method to his madness.
Bring In The Beams
A few days and a lot of holes later, he brought in a couple of long wooden beams. The addition of the beams made it clear that he was building something and not making giant holes to plant some bizarre seeds in. Still, no one knew what he was building.
He began placing the beams in the holes, pouring cement over them, and spreading gravel down so everything would stay dry and not rot.
Starting On The Deck
After the beams were set, the guy began building until an outline of the project came to light. There was now even what looked like the start of a staircase on one side. Apparently the stairs were the final clue the neighbors needed to realize he was building a deck for his above-ground pool.
They couldn't fault him. Having a deck eye-level with the pool would make lounging and watching his son a whole lot easier!
A Little Help From His Son
With a huge project like this, it's always nice to have an extra pair of hands, no matter how tiny. In this case, the man received help from none other than his young son. Of course, the little one couldn't do any of the heavy lifting or use power tools.
But just being there for his dad and helping when he could probably meant the world to the older guy. This project was in part for his son, after all.
What had started as confusion quickly turned into excitement among the neighbors. Once they began to see the bones of the pool deck, they were curious to see what the resulting product was going to look like. The beginning stages were already looking good!
Although they weren't helping with construction, the neighbors were there watching since the holes were being drilled into the ground. So to say they were a bit anxious for the final reveal would be an understatement!
Beginning The Floor
With the bones in place and the stairs underway, it was time to start building an essential part of the deck, the floor. His family was going to be using this deck a lot, so he wanted to make sure it was as sturdy as possible.
He did so by adding multiple support beams to increase stability. Then, he added numerous horizontal beams. They were the key feature because they would be holding the weight of lawn furniture and the family.
You Can't Control The Weather
As with most outdoor construction projects, the winter months halted any progress the man hoped to make on his deck. It wasn't worth his safety if the wooden beams became icy or if he wasn't able to build properly because of the elements.
It looked like he was taking a break until the weather warmed back up. Not that he minded. Taking a break meant spending more time with his family, the whole reason he was undergoing this DIY project.
Winter didn't last forever, and once the springtime rolled around, he was ready to get back to his project. Before the snow and ice hit, he had ensured that the deck was durable and sturdy, so now it was time to make sure all of the measurements were accurate.
If they weren't, not only would the planks of the deck look bad, but it could later lead to safety concerns. It was time to take careful measurements and begin setting the floorboards.
Coming Together Like A Puzzle
The planks fit into place effortlessly. The surface was level, there were no gaps between the floorboards, and the screws didn't seem to be straining the wood. Everything was fitting together like a well-cut puzzle.
The floor was finished! Now, it was time to put the rest of the staircase together so they could easily get to the raised platform. His neighbors were very impressed with how well everything fell into place.
A Custom Deck
If the neighbors learned anything from this man, it is that dedication and perseverance can get you a long way. It might have taken a long time to build, but the man is now the proud owner of a personalized pool deck, a structure that he can enjoy with his family.
And because that family included a young son, he made safety his number one priority. He was sure to include durable planks and support beams, as well as industrial bolts for the corners.
The man's DIY pool deck looked amazing. It was designed very well, and it was also safe for anyone who ventured on to it. He even went out and bought a few lawn chairs so people would be able to lounge and not worry about hurting their backs on the wooden planks.
For an extra security measure, he even added a pully latch to prevent children and dogs from venturing on the deck without an adult present.
It Was Worth It In The End
It's amazing that the man was able to accomplish this transformation in less than a year. What started off as a plot of land that held nothing more than weeds had turned into a lovely deck that he and his family will be able to enjoy for years to come.
And while his neighbors were very skeptical about his plans, in the beginning, there is no doubt in their mind that he had a vision since day one!
After his dog passed away, this man didn't really know what to do with himself. He wanted to stay busy. The garden he used to play in with his best friend looked very empty, so he decided a DIY project was in order, something that would keep his mind off his loss.
He decided to build a koi pond on the plot of land. But, he got half-way through the project when he came up with a new idea altogether.
His plan to build a koi pond came to an end after the birth of his son. Although it would have looked very nice in the garden, the man decided he wanted to build something that the entire family, especially his son, would be able to enjoy.
So, he recruited a friend to help him begin his new project. Although the plan is somewhat the same, the project as a whole was entirely different than a pond.
It Took A Lot Of Hard Work
He and his friend started the project during the summer months, so it was grueling work underneath the hot sun. But the result was going to be completely worth it! Even though it was a lot of work, he was determined to build this backyard oasis for his son.
He was positive that the little guy was going to love the finished product. So, once the filtration system was in place, he poured the concrete and was ready for the next step!
What A Result!
After working all summer long, the finished product was finally ready to be revealed. Instead of the koi pond, he decided to build a pool that looked as though it was a natural water feature in the garden.
The result was the perfect addition to the garden, one that he hopes his son will love to swim in. He was able to take his grief and use it to build something for his family. His pooch would have been proud!
Terry Was Inspired
Terry Meredith, a 65-year-old man living in Gloucester, England, had a creative spark one day. He was planning on clearing his garden for a nicer view when he decided it would be better to build something.
The former electrician was surprised by his desire to build a DIY project. And he never imagined his creation was going to turn out so well! This was the beginning of Terry's project to build the coolest treehouse ever.
Keeping The Willow Tree
The project began after Terry decided not to chop down the tall willow tree in his yard. The tree had grown so large that it was blocking the view of the sunset. He wanted to take a few feet off the top so he could see nature's beauty again.
However, when he climbed to the top of the tree, he was awestruck by the view before him. That's when it hit him. Instead of cutting the tree down, he was going to build on it!
A Long Time To Complete
Eight months and £8,000 later, Terry had a luxurious treehouse sitting up in his willow tree. The finished house was concealed by the tree's branches, with only the staircase visible at the base.
Inside, there's cushion seating, a ton of windows, and a working barbecue in the center for either a picnic or to warm the treehouse on cold nights. It's the perfect place for Terry and his friends and family to come and relax while enjoying the gorgeous Welsh countryside.
Open To The Public
Terry isn't the only one that's been enjoying the treehouse, though. He was gracious enough to open his willow tree up to the local people. It's been used for birthday parties and a rest stop for people running or walking through the area.
It must be nice for Terry to see other people enjoying his hard work as much as he is. We wouldn't be surprised if some of the locals asked him to build a luxury treehouse in their yard!
Man's Best Friends
Who says DIY projects are solely for a person's enjoyment? Aaron Franks of Pennsylvania decided to do something nice for his beloved dogs, Tessa, Bruno, Cooper, and Mia. What did he do for them?
He built what can only be described as a doggie mansion. The project cost a few thousand dollars and took around two years to construct. But the three-story dog playhouse, complete with a pool, lounge spots, and electricity, was well worth it!
A Doggy Dream House
Frank isn't delusional; the first person he has to thank for putting up with his long hours is his family, especially his wife. But, the dogs are also part of the family, so she understood his desire to build something nice for them.
The three-story playhouse features an above-ground pirate-themed pool, swings, and even security cameras so the family can keep an eye on the dogs when they're playing. All it's missing is a flatscreen TV!
A Whole Lot Of Love
During an interview about his dogs, Aaron said, "I feed them, I water them and walk them every day. They get their exercise and stuff, but I guess at the end of the day, I just felt like it wasn't enough."
"I felt like this would be a good way to show my love for them. It makes me feel good that I could do that for them." According to Aaron, it wasn't a hardship to build the doggie mansion; it was a labor of love!
Attention To Detail
After seeing the finished product, it's clear that Aaron has a whole lot of love for his four pooches. Everything was taken care of, down to the last fire hydrant detail. The ironic part is, Aaron has said that he had no idea what the finished product was going to look like!
He just kept building and hoped for the best. Well, it looks like his hard work and creativity were well worth it. His dogs love their new playhouse!
Transform Your Kitchen With Stainless Steel Contact Paper
These days, there are few classier appliances than stainless steel ones. They're easy to clean and look modern and sleek. Unfortunately, they're also costly and it's not worth replacing a perfectly working household appliance.
That's what makes stainless steel contact paper so incredible. For less than $15, you can order a roll of self-adhesive material that looks like stainless steel! Cut it to match your appliance dimensions and no one will be able to tell the difference!
Hide Your Modem In A False Box
Modems and other computer-related equipment aren't the most appealing, especially when their wires are all bunched up near the wall. A simple fix that will go with any room decor is to place the items into a nice box.
Just cut a square in the back of the box that's large enough to comfortably fit all of the wires. Choose a decorative box that has a lid so you can have access to everything as needed.
Create An Eyecatching Backsplash With Removable Wallpaper
Even if your cabinets, appliances, and countertops are top-notch, if your backsplash is yellowing or bland, it will make all the difference. Rather than spending a fortune on a fancy backsplash, you can get all of the aesthetic advantages from a $40 roll of removable wallpaper.
They come in a variety of patterns and, best of all, they peel off without damaging the wall. Just be sure you get one that is moisture and steam resistant.
Use Macramé To Hide Fuse Boxes
Fuse boxes and other wall eyesores aren't fun to look at, and covering them with a painting or mirror can make it difficult to access when needed. That's what makes macramé so convenient.
The wall decoration is made of cotton that is easy to move but sufficiently covers anything you don't want to be seen. Plus, the elegant addition only costs around $20 and is light-weight enough that you only need a nail to hang it.
Update Your Bathtub With A Tub-And-Tile Kit
If you just moved into an older home, the bathtub may be overtly aged. Whether it has cracks or has yellowed over the years, bathtubs can become unattractive with time. Instead of spending a fortune on a new tub just for looks, try out a Tub & Tile Refurnishing Kit.
They only cost about $60 and can be applied with a brush, roller, or sprayer. The liquid contains acrylic and epoxy to create a solid white, scratch-resistant layer that looks like new.
Block An AC Unit With A Custom Planter
AC units are one of the most unattractive items that are surrounding the exterior of many homes. Since they're necessary and require ventilation, it may seem like there's nothing you can do, but there is.
As this Instagram user displayed, you can hide an AC unit behind a custom planter that enables airways and access but blocks the appliance visually. Use wooden planks to build hollow walls around the unit and top them off with planters full of tall greenery and vibrant flowers.
Transform Countertops With A Granite Paint Kit
Countertops make a huge impact on a kitchen's aesthetic. Granite is one of the more popular options, but the cost to replace your existing counters can be way out of your budget.
Fortunately, you can give the look of having granite counters for just $80 using a granite paint kit. The application process takes a total of 16 hours and dries to a glossy finish. They even have different varieties of granite, such as Sicilian Sand and Bombay Black.
Cover Up Old Tile With Stick Tiles
If your bathroom tiles are still functioning but way out of style, it may not seem worth it to spend thousands of dollars ripping them up and replacing them. A more cost-effective alternative is to cover them up with stick tiles.
They only cost about $2 per square foot and they're durable enough to look great long term. When it's time to change them out or move, they peel off without causing damage. You can also get faux tiles for your wall to do a backsplash or accent wall.
Revamp Your Throw Pillows With New Shams
If your throw pillows are stained or no longer go with your decor, you may be tempted to replace them. But buying new throw pillows can be expensive, especially if the old ones are still in good shape.
Fortunately, there are throw pillow shams available online. Just like the pillow covers you use for your bed, they are fitted to your existing pillows' sizes. There are a variety of funky patterns and a set only costs around $30.
Revitalize Wooden Furniture With Old English Scratch Cover
Wood furniture looks incredibly classy and is generally durable. The only downside is that it can scratch due to everyday activity. Instead of getting a whole new piece of furniture, just revitalize your existing wooden pieces with some Old English Scratch Cover.
An eight-ounce bottle is only $5 and it is said to restore surfaces and cover scratches and nooks. One reviewer said "I love this stuff" and that they "highly recommend as a quick fix."
Hide Wires Behind A Desk Curtain
If you have a desk that faces a back wall, the wires underneath may be more noticeable than you'd hope. A simple way to fix that is to create a desk curtain that hangs over the wires.
Cut out a piece of fabric to the right dimensions and attach it to the backside of your desk a safe distance from the wire outlets or any extension cords. Pick a color that will suit the rest of the room's decor and it will fit right in!
Keep Your Charging Station In A Drawer
Nowadays, the average household has chargers all over the place for numerous devices. To keep everything charged and looking tidy, consider creating a charging drawer like this one.
All you need is an extension cord that is long enough to plug into a wall outlet and fit into a drawer. You can even drill a hole into the back of the drawer if the cord is too snug. Attach all of your chargers to the outlet and keep them tucked away in the drawer while charging.
Store Your Wires Tangle-Free With Paper Towel Cardboard
While your spare wires aren't typically out in the open for guests to see, they can create anxiety for you when every time you open the drawer you see a messy knot of them.
To keep things organized and clean-looking, all you need are the cardboard pipes leftover from paper towel rolls. Cut them to the height of the drawer or box you keep wires in and stuff each piece with a single wire to prevent tangling.
Create A Custom Pet Crate Cover
As adorable as pets are, their crates are not. To make it look less like you have a cage in the house, consider creating a cute cover for any crates you have in the house.
You can purchase one already made, or make it yourself to ensure that the cover matches whichever room you'll have it in. Wrap the sides and the back in a unique fabric with trim and be sure to leave the door bare so your pet can still keep an eye on things.
Make Your Garage Door More Attractive By Painting It
Even if your garage door is in great shape, it may still be an eyesore if the color is bland or unappealing. Painting your garage a soothing or vibrant color can make a huge difference.
Pick something that compliments the rest of your home's exterior and will make guests feel welcome. The effect is similar to painting your front door, which is another helpful hack for enhanced curb appeal. You can even make the garage and door match colors or complement one another.
Cover Up A Worn Deck With An Outdoor Area Rug
If your deck doesn't look very aesthetically pleasing, save thousands with an area rug. There are specially made versions that are well-suited for outdoor weather, especially if the area is covered by an awning.
The rug also helps bring together the furniture so that it feels more like an outdoor living space. You can also use this hack on front doorsteps. Instead of a welcome mat, get an area rug that will cover more of the unsightly flooring.
Swap Out Plastic Soap Dispensers For Reusable Ones
Plastic soap dispensers not only look tacky, but they also aren't good for the environment. Getting a new soap every few weeks will have you going through tons of expensive bottles throughout the year.
You may be thinking "I just refill my plastic bottles with bulk soap." While that's cost and eco-efficient, it still doesn't look as classy as a made-for-reusing bottle. They only cost about $10 and will match your bathroom decor much better.
Hide Under-The-Bed Storage With A Bed Skirt
Especially if you don't have a ton of closet space, under the bed can be a perfect spot for added storage. However, you don't want guests to see a ton of boxes underneath the bed.
To keep your room tidy without making it look like a storage unit, just add a bed skirt! The cloth is fitted to hang over your bed underneath the box spring. Choose one that matches your decor to further enhance the room's interior design.
Cover Scratches And Watermarks With A Tablecloth Or Runner
If your dining room table is older and scratched up, or loaded with those pesky glass rings, simply cover it up with a table cloth or a runner. If there are just a few small blemishes near the center of the table, a runner will give the illusion that the entire thing is spotless.
You can also pair a runner with matching placemats to cover more surface without making it obvious. Better yet, get seasonal variations so they look like decorations.
Give Your Shed Charm With Carriage-Style Magnets
If you want to add a little charm to your shed or garage without breaking the budget, consider getting some carriage-style magnets. A set comes with hinges and handles that will keep guests' eyes away from chipping paint or dented doors.
You can get a set of four hinges and two handles for as little as $12 on Amazon. One reviewer said that even after a year, the product isn't faded or worn in the slightest.